HOW TO SLICE A BRICK
How many doorstops can you use, really??? Sooner or later, some of the good food gone awry must be used constructively (and not FOR construction either) I must add that our Bosch owner report to us that this is not common when they are using there machines but more common with everyone else who make it by hand. Until the fine points of breadmaking are perfected, here are a few tricks that can help.
First of all, the point must be made: BREAD DOES NOT HAVE TO LIGHT TO BE GOOD. There are a lot of people who prefer it hefty: maybe you are one of them--though probably you wouldn't be reading this if you were. People who like heavy bread don't use the word bricks. They take the gourmet stance, waft their French vegetable knives, and demand of their guests, "Have you ever tasted such flavourful bread?" Usually it is delicious. If anyone asks, you can say it is Westnovian Pumpernickel.
But maybe the whole thing has gone beyond humour; maybe, say, there is someone in the family whol has to face the critical eyes of fellow sixth-graders and so must have sandwiches as much like store-bought as possible...or someone else may just want sandwiches that don't look like they were made on theater tickets. Try this: the technique is as effective as it is crazy--remember, we've had plenty of bricks to practice on in the last 3 decades or so!
Cut your brick in half, making two squarish pieces. Now stand one of the squares on it's cut side, and starting parallel to the (former) bottom of the loaf, slice downwards, cutting about four 4-inch square slices, quite thin. Repeat with the other half. Voila!! Respectable slices, elegant sandwiches. The crust pieces will be fromidable, I admit. Our dog considers this sort of thing to be the last word in treats. In fact he goes nuts everytime he sees us get out a slice of bread. You can even cut them into milkbone size bars. By this technique you can usually count on getting eight acceptable slices and a lot of doggie treats from one dud of a loaf. Not bad and better luck next time!
Refreshing Leftover Loaves--Heavy or light, when a loaf has lost it's just baked appeal, it may not be stale, actually, it may be asking only for a little refreshing tp bromg ot bacl tp goodness. A trick that works amazingly well is to wrap the loaf in a towel dampened with hot water and wrung out. Put it in a covered casserole or wrap it in foil or put is in a clean brown bag, and warm it in the oven at medium heat for 15 to 20 min. We did this all the time when we were trying to sell our house to give the house that "Just baked" smell, but we also found it improved the bread greatly.
The steaming can be done on top of the stove, too, and even faster. Put the wrapped bread in a perforated pan or steamer basket over boiling water. Adjust the towels , water level, and the heat so that you end up with hot, soft, unsoggy bread, and no burned towels: it may take a little fussing, but the results are very dependable onec you work out your system. This procedure is useful not only for refreshing tired loaves but also for warming buns or heating up muffins or cornbread.
Days-old bread is useful in many ways, even if you wouldn't want to make sandwiches out of it. If the bread is light, it can become bread pudding----savory and cheesy or sweet and custardy--or croutons, to add crunch to caesar salad, or soup. Dense, heavy bread can disappoint in bread pudding or as croutons, but works fine for making bread crumbs or stuffings. Once they are dried thoroughly, crumbs and croutons will keep a long time stored airtight in the refrigerator.
We will add some of these recipes to our website in the New Recipe section.
Herbed Crumb Muffins, Sweet Bread Pudding, and savory Cheesy Bread Pudding